Wicked becomes the fourth longest running musical on Broadway

After 18 years on Broadway, Wicked, the musical about the witches of Oz, is set to surpass Cats as the fourth longest-running Broadway show in history. Following its April 11 performance, Wicked will have played a total of 7,486 performances, one more than Cats’ 7,485. Directed by Joe Mantello and featuring music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, Wicked has been a fan-favorite since its previews began at the Gershwin Theatre on Oct. 8, 2003, before officially opening on Oct. 30.

As Wicked overtakes Cats, the top four longest-running Broadway productions in history will all be currently running shows, at least until Phantom of the Opera plays its final performance on April 16. Chicago ranks second ahead of The Lion King in third place.

The competition to become the longest-running Broadway production continues with these shows still in contention, although they have a long way to go to catch up to Phantom’s record of 13,891 performances. On April 16, Chicago will hit 10,337 performances, meaning it would need to play eight performances per week for approximately 8.76 more years to catch up to Phantom. The Lion King leads Wicked by 2,450 performances, making it unlikely for Wicked to climb higher than its newly earned fourth place.

Apart from Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, The Lion King, and Wicked, the only other show in the Top 15 that is still open on Broadway is “The Book of Mormon.” If that show wants to enter the Top 10, it needs to run for approximately 2.7 more years to overtake the current No. 10, “Beauty and the Beast.”

As of April 12, the Top 10 longest-running Broadway productions in history will be: 1. The Phantom of the Opera, 2. Chicago (1996 revival), 3. The Lion King, 4. Wicked, 5. Cats, 6. Les Misérables, 7. A Chorus Line, 8. Oh Calcutta! (1976 revival), 9. Mamma Mia!, and 10. Beauty and the Beast.

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